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Italian Language Lessons
Grammar, spelling, and usage

Italian Direct Object Pronouns
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A direct object is the direct recipient of the action of a verb.

I invite the boys.  Whom do I invite?  The boys.
He reads the book.  What does he read?  The book.

The nouns boys and books are direct objects. They answer the question what? or whom? Verbs that take a direct object are called transitive verbs. Verbs that do not take a direct object (she walks, I sleep) are intransitive.

Direct object pronouns replace direct object nouns.

I invite the boys.  I invite them.
He reads the book.  He reads it.

In Italian the forms of the direct object pronouns (i pronomi diretti) are as follows:

SINGULAR PLURAL
mi me ci us
ti you (informal) vi you (informal)
La you (formal m. and f.) Li you (form., m.)
Le you (form., f.)
lo him, it li them (m. and f.)
la her, it le them (f.)

A direct object pronoun is placed immediately before a conjugated verb.

Se vedo i ragazzi, li invito. (If I see the boys, I’ll invite them.)
Compra la frutta e la mangia. (He buys the fruit and eats it.)

In a negative sentence, the word non must come before the object pronoun.

Non la mangia. (He doesn’t eat it.)
Perchè non li inviti? (Why don’t you invite them?)

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